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New photo exhibit celebrates Portuguese music

On Wednesday, May 16, in collaboration with the Boston Portuguese Festival (BPF) and the Consulate General of Portugal, Emerson College’s School of the Arts will open a new exhibition titled Fado Vadio. This free exhibition features 40 photographs by renowned Portuguese photographer Luís Pavão. The exhibition will run through Friday, May 25. Opening night for Fado Vadio will include a 6:00 pm reception with special guests including Luís Pavão, as well as a film screening of Fados (TRT: 90 minutes), a collection of Fado performances directed by Carlos Saura, at 7:00 pm. The Huret & Spector Gallery is located at the Tufte Performance and Production Center, 10 Boylston Place, Sixth Floor, Boston. Gallery hours are M–F, 12:00 pm–5:00 pm.

Throughout Fado Vadio, Luís Pavão’s photographs pay tribute to the most traditional Portuguese music genre, Fado. The exhibition is a collection of more than 20 years of shooting pictures of “fadistas” or Fado singers in the taverns of Lisbon, where Fado began. In his dedication to his subject, Pavão has captured the passion of the Fado singers, ordinary people from all of walks of life, who were photographed in action.

Luís Pavão's photographs depict Portuguese Fado musicians.

In describing the exhibition, Portuguese Consul General Paulo Cunha Alves explains that Fado cannot be translated into words. “It’s about feelings, about ‘saudade,’ a song sung by the people for the people; and those characteristics are masterfully presented in Pavão’s photographs, giving a sense of what is going on in their minds and those places where Fado grows spontaneously—the old taverns, traditional restaurants, popular festivities, and community clubs.”

“It’s an honor to collaborate with the Consul General of Portugal and the Boston Portuguese Festival to host Luís Pavão’s photography display on Fado,” said Emerson College President Lee Pelton. “Performing Arts and Visual Arts are two of the major areas of concentration for students at Emerson, so it’s a pleasure to host a public exhibition on our campus that showcases a wonderfully unique part of Portuguese artistic history and culture.”

Since 2006, the BPF has provided a framework where all interested parties may unite and channel their efforts in promoting Portugal and its culture, not only to the Portuguese American public, but also to the American community at large. The BPF’s annual programs bring to the Greater Boston area a showcase of the most expressive components of Portuguese culture and present-day reality, namely in the fields of Literature, Music, Cinema, History and Current Affairs, Science and Technology, and Heritage.

The Huret & Spector Gallery is a vital educational and cultural component of Emerson College, serving the needs of the Emerson academic community and the Boston community at large. The gallery invigorates the academic curriculum and attracts visitors from the community through exhibitions of new work produced by contemporary artists, faculty, and students. Corresponding educational programs explore global perspectives on art and art discourse. For more information, visit

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